Qatar Airways CEO says Covid vaccines likely to be required for travel: ‘This will be the trend’

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A Qatar Airways plane takes-off from the Hamad International Airport in Doha on July 20, 2017.
STRINGER | AFP | Getty Images

The CEO of a flagship Middle Eastern airline has said the requirement for Covid-19 vaccinations will likely be a trend in air travel, as the industry attempts to rebound from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“In the short term, yes, I think that the vaccine passport will be helpful to give confidence both to governments and to the passengers in our industry to start travelling again,” Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble on Tuesday.

When asked whether vaccinations will become a “necessity” in order to fly, Al Baker said: “I think this will be the trend initially, because the world needs to open people need to have confidence in the air travel.”

“I think this will be a trend that will happen until such a time that people are certain that there is a proper cure, or proper treatment for this very serious pandemic we are facing today,” he added.

The conversation took place in conjunction with the launch of Qatar Airways’ first fully Covid-19 vaccinated flight, an A350-1000. It will carry only passengers and crew that had been vaccinated against the virus that turned the world economy on its head and bankrupted so many airlines in the past year.

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